Arizona Advocacy Network, with support from the Secretary of State, called upon the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission to exercise an emergency clause and reduce the number of $5 contributions required to receive funds for this election cycle. This proposal comes in light of an unanticipated FBI investigation that shut down the website that allows candidates to receive $5 qualifying contributions online (E-Qual) for 10 days beginning on June 28th.
"While no one is to blame for the unexpected barrier that clean elections candidates faced, they cannot be given the time back that they lost during this critical period in their campaigns and concessions need to be made." said Samantha Pstross, Executive Director of the Arizona Advocacy Network.
Along with the proposal, numerous clean elections candidates affected by the outage submitted letters to the Commission pleading their case.
"As you can imagine, this put up a significant barrier to our efforts in collecting qualifying contributions. Furthermore, the timing of the shutdown couldn't have been worse, as it significantly impeded our final efforts to turn in our targeted number of $5 qualifying contributions." wrote Corporation Commission candidates Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin in a joint letter to the Commission. The two had set up a paid digital marketing effort aimed at soliciting $5 donations online when the website was down.
Arizona Election Director, Eric Spencer, also wrote a letter of support for the resolution to the Commission, "I have reviewed the Arizona Advocacy Network's proposal, and find it to be persuasive and readily-implementable by the Secretary of State's office."
The Commissioners must pass the resolution unanimously for it to become effective. If passed it will reduce the number of qualifying contributions from 250 to 200 for legislative candidates and from 1700 to 1500 for Corporation Commission candidates.
The Arizona Advocacy Network is encouraging the Commission to act quickly, since the final day for clean elections candidates to turn in their $5 contributions, August 23, is fast approaching.